Alumni Spotlight: Emmerson Blotz

“My goal in my work is to always help spark wonder and ignite people’s passions the way Camp Fire did for me.”

Read Time 2 minutes

January 2024

Meet Emmerson Blotz, a camper, Counselor-in-Training (CIT), and counselor alum now living her dream!

Occupation: National Park Ranger

How did Camp Fire light my spark?

I started going to camp in 2006 when I was 8 years old. My family had moved to Minnesota from New Mexico a few years before and it had been a big change for me. In New Mexico I had really loved playing outside, adventuring and exploring. But when we moved, I was in an unfamiliar environment and had to start all over finding new friends. I became very shy and anxious after our move and spent most of my time indoors playing on my own. When I started going to camp though, I was meeting new people, making friends and having fun in the outdoors again. By the end of my first night at camp I was already happier and more excited than I’d been in years and by the end of my first week I finally felt like I was at home somewhere again.

I ended up staying with Camp Fire for the next 11 years as a camper and later as a counselor and archery specialist. That sense of being at home and belonging never left. Even after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 11 years old, one of my first concerns was whether I would be allowed back at camp with my new condition. Not only was I allowed back, I was welcomed with open arms and treated like any other person at a time when I was finding it difficult to remember I was still a normal kid.

I hold Camp Fire primarily responsible for molding me into the person I am today. Through Camp Fire I reconnected with nature and the outdoors and grew my social and leadership skills, as well as lighting my spark for teaching and inspiring others. Today I am lucky enough to have my dream job as a Ranger Naturalist with the National Park Service, where I get to share my love of nature and teach people about the world around them. I’ve taken Camp Fire’s idea of “lighting the fire within” to heart and my goal in my work is to always help spark wonder and ignite people’s passions the way Camp Fire did for me.